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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

WILLIAM  VCOT  HUMBOLBT.                    309
work of art" A second letter from Madame
Humboldt describes her domestic happiness more
clearly. " My little ones/' she says, cc would please
you. Li (Caroline) grows very amiable; she Is
delicate, and has a rare degree of sentimentality.,
perfectly natural., however, as you may imagine.
Her brother William Is handsome, much more rough,
very naughty, self-willed, and yet exceedingly good-
natured. Theodore is the most amiable child I ever
saw—he is stout, and almost fat, and yet looks slender;
his little face has an expression of merriment, and yet
his glance seems to indicate something more profound.
His eyes are as if you gaze into the heavens. The
white In them Is quite blue, and the eyeball brown,
His hair Is light, and his mouth the prettiest I ever
saw in a child. If you could see the boy, he would
make a fool of you, as he does of me."
In the spring of 1798, Humboldt enjoyed the plea-
sure of his brother's society in Paris for some time,
He came to Paris with the intention of joining Gapt.
Baudinjs expedition, but when that was abandoned,
and other attempts to organize an expedition, had
failed, he repaired to Spain, where he met with assis-
tance from the court, and started on Ms first journey
from, thence.
The house of Humboldt In Paris was the centre of
union for all the Germans who in any way merited
being guests there. Even^ if Humboldt devoted
himself principally to his studies, and to. those men
with whom he could maintain an adequate Intel-
lectual Intercourse, his wife formed an attraction
for the most various kinds of talents, and German
artists especially were sure of her patronage and atten-
tion. The French painter David attracted a consider-
able number of young artists to Paris, and among the
German ones especially the painter Schick, the sculp-
tor Tieck, and others. Among the interesting men at
that time staying In Paris we may mention CJusfcav
von Brinkmann, who contributed some clever epigrams
to Schiller's " Horen, and Almanack of the